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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, apologies in advance for the long text (new owner + worried = rambles)

I went away all Tuesday and today (Wednesday) for an excursion, and I left instructions for my sister on water changing and feeding (I fed him a bit more than usual the Tues morning before I left, and was planning a fasting day on Wed). I just got back today only to find my mother had fed him around 20 live mosquito larvae in one sitting earlier today (told no one), and my sister 'felt he was hungry' and also fed him (unknown amount).

I'm worried because I've read that bettas can sometimes eat themselves to death, and his stomach is so huge now

Usual 28/3/14:
Today 2/4/14:


I'm also worried about how clean those larvae were, and am not sure what to do. So far he seems to be very actively (albeit heavily) swimming, with no major balance issues (I got him to zip around chasing his feeding spoon).

On the NLS question, I just purchased a tub of NLS betta forumula 1mm semi-floating food, and I've never really been sure of how much I should feed him (I usually went by one spoon [4mm diameter] morning and night of AquaOne, max size 0.5mm pellets). I got the NLS food as they seem to have the best reviews in the forums, and I wanted a varied diet (bonus they also float). I've seen people saying 2-3xtwice/day, 6xtwice/day, unlimited until he stops eating (Pinto has never stopped going for offered food). I'm not sure how to go about feeding/how much of him these, as they're much larger and he looks like a cow chewing cud (1mm MIN, some pellets are 2mm for some reason).


NB: My friend gave me Pinto as a birthday present Monday 24th, and I've been researching a whole heap on how to care for him, he came with what seems to be mild fin rot, and is in the bowl temporarily with 85-100% daily water changes with Aq Salt treatment starting tomorrow. (Please let me know if you spot something wrong him in the pictures!)
 

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Epsom salt will be better for constipation and will help him pass his food. It does look like fin rot, so just keep up with the water changes and have a heater to keep the water warm.

Feeding NLS twice a day is a good practice. There isn't really a right answer for how many pellets to feed. Since he is a piggy, you don't want to do "however many he can eat" scenario. Some people feed until they can see a *slight* bulge in the tummy. As long as he's getting at least 3 pellets per meal, he shouldn't be starving, although more would be fine.
I've been using NLS for over a year and I have noticed that my newest tub seems to have slightly larger pellets than before, which make them more difficult for my betta to eat. They are still small, but they used to be a little smaller.
 

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This is a prime example why it's better to fast fish while you are away rather than get people to feed them. It takes a REEEEALLY long time for a fish to starve to death. Longer than you would ever be away for.


One of the great things about NLS is that it is so easily digestible. Issues like bloat and constipation from feeding too much aren't really a concern. Feeding until you see a bit of a bulge in the stomach is good IMO. You may see people say that the stomach is the size of the fish eye, as a feeding guideline. That is completely incorrect - the empty stomach is much larger than the fishs eye. Even then, the stomach is designed to stretch so the size of an empty stomach is completely irrelevant to the amount of food it can hold.
 

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I am curious... what is NLS?
 

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New life spectrum - premium fish food
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks!

Thanks for the responses, his stomach looks a little less bulgy this morning but still bigger than normal so I'll fast him today. It doesn't seem like he'll need it now but I'll pick up some Epsom salt anyway for my betta kit.

I might whip out my dissection kit and try to chop up some of the pellets, he seems to enjoy them, but they are a tad bit too big for him.

This is a prime example why it's better to fast fish while you are away rather than get people to feed them. It takes a REEEEALLY long time for a fish to starve to death. Longer than you would ever be away for.
I fed him more than usual on Tuesday morning before I left, and planned to fast him Wednesday. I told her "all you need to do is change the water, don't feed him, I've fed him enough and his fasting is planned for Wednesday", but lo and behold, she didn't listen. I also told both my parents when I got the fish that he was mine, and I'd take care of him completely, and that they should not touch him, do anything to him, and especially not add anything to his bowl (it sounds harsh but they both don't believe me and say I'm ridiculous when I say things like untreated tap water will kill him, and that dogs shouldn't have certain things like fresh avocado and dark chocolate, and especially not human medicine like panadol). Sadly they still don't believe me, even though I study animal and vet science at university (this is also why I'm too scared to have a dog).
 

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Too scared to have a dog? Because of how your parents would treat it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Too scared because they really don't believe me when I tell them some things that are fine for us are toxic for other animals.

They wouldn't be intentionally abusive at all to the dog, if anything happened to it, it would be out of misunderstanding on their part, and actually misplaced affection (e.g. feed it leftovers, give it panadol because it looks like it's sick). It doesn't help that most dogs are pretty much pigs when it comes to food either.
 
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